The Voyage of the Batavia
Price: 625.00 AUD
Sydney: Hordern House, 1994. Octavo, 10 illustrations, some folding; handbound in quarter green calf and marbled boards. Limited edition of 750 copies, this book was issued as number two in the Australian Maritime Series, published by Hordern House for the Australian National Maritime Museum. The "unlucky voyage" of the Batavia is the most desirable of all books relating to Western Australia, a celebrated rarity of Australian book collecting, and the most important of all Dutch Australiana. First published in 1647, there were essentially six editions, with three variants, published in the seventeenth century (Tiele, 235-243; Landwehr, VOC, 406-411). This is the first facsimile ever issued of the first edition of 1647. The illustrations include graphic reproductions of the wreck, the mutiny and slaughter on the islands, the trial and torture of the leaders and their execution on the mainland; these are the earliest printed representations of the Australian mainland.Pelsaert's voyage along the West Australian coast to seek help at Batavia was the first extensive discovery of the Australian continent, exceeded only by the later voyages of Abel Tasman. Being the first published account of any voyage of Australian discovery, it is of the greatest importance. The story of the wreck itself, in Drake-Brockman's words, 'provides the greatest dramatic tragedy in Australian history beside which the mutiny on the Bounty is an anaemic tale'.